On August 11, 2016, our first day of freshman year, we signed up for 1,362 days of enrollment at Mercy Academy. That number includes summers, breaks, and weekends, so in all actuality we had about 650 days together in person. Mercy gave us 650 days to get to know one another.
You would think after that many days with the same 122 people we’d be sick of each other. You’d be so wrong. We eat, sleep and breathe Mercy. To be quite honest, many of us spend more time in this building than we do in our own homes.
We have girls participating in mock trial getting here at 6 am, cheerleaders practicing at 5:30 a.m., and theatre girls might as well be paying rent.
We are here because we want to be here. It gives us more time together doing what we love with whom we love. But allow me to remind you that we started with 1,362 days, and I’ve only covered half of them.
The other half, the other 712 days, was for us. Those were our sleepover nights, our day trips, our “please come over I’m so bored” days. We became inseparable for 1,362 days.
However, we didn’t quite make it all the way there. We stopped just shy at a whopping 1,310 days, 96 percent of the way. We lost 52 days. We lost 28 school days. We lost 14 “A” days and 14 “B” days. We lost 24 days of potential sleepovers and hangouts. We even lost 16 days of Mercy cookies. We lost our second home, friends, and family. We were left without what brought us together in the first place. I never imagined something like this happening to us.
I can’t say that throughout my senior year I haven’t been scared, not of the coronavirus because to be quite honest that wasn’t even on my radar. I had been focusing on how I was going to hold myself together after graduation.
All this year I have been fearing what comes next. Going to college without all of my Mercy friends terrifies me. I want to stay with you all. But I can say now, with all certainty, I am not scared any more.
Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t oppose if Mercy extended into a college. I know now that I am not going to lose a single one of you. This quarantine has made me realize how much we mean to each other. I have heard from you all in various forms of communication. It’s things like that even in quarantine that has made me realize that nothing can get in the way of our bond. Within those lost 52 days I discovered that the next four years are going to be manageable. I will be bothering you all at all hours of the day asking, “what’s up?” or telling you how much I miss you. We’ve had our test run of separation. It hasn’t been outstanding, but it has been doable.
Those 52 days taught us to value what we get. It taught us alternative ways to connect. Those 52 days taught us that we can do this.
If Mercy has taught me anything in 650 days of school it’s that you all are my sisters, my family. And family doesn’t fall apart with a little separation. So, with that in mind, thank you so much for giving me the best 1,362 days I could have asked for. I know this isn’t how we imagined the end, but thank you for making it doable together.